Marriage is life’s most difficult challenge, but it is also life’s most rewarding triumph. More and more of us each day are being raised in single parent households. Our parents are divorced so when we get married, divorce is automatically an option for our troubled marriage. Today’s generation is comfortable with divorce. Divorce is what we know. What we don’t know are the benefits of a successful marriage. How could we know the benefits of a successful marriage when many of us have neither witnessed nor reaped the benefits of a successful marriage?
Switching out relationship partners is becoming the norm but in Corporate America many people do not switch jobs for fear of losing their benefits. When you get the job you are told what the benefits are right up front. I wish marriage was like that. We go to the dentist, the doctor and we get our vision checked. We take advantage of our benefits. They have value to us. Job benefits make us stable employees. People keep jobs longer than they stay married these days because they have experienced the benefit of having a job but do not know the benefits of marriage. Here are just a few of some of the benefits of my marriage:
Benefits Of My Marriage
1.) We are going to build wealth.
2.) We are going to retire early (and kickit).
3.) We are going to pay off a house (a big house).
4.) We are going to have something to pass down to our children (greenbacks).
5.) We are going to be able to pay for college for our children.
6.) Our children will understand the benefits of marriage.
7.) We will have many, many, years of joy, happiness and peace. We will live longer than you.
8.) We are building a legacy. Fifty years from now a picture of my wife and I will be on t-shirts at the family reunion in our honor.
9.) Each of us will be loved until death do us part.
10.) We won’t have to date you.
Your problem is that you are too lazy to build yourself a spouse. You want to hear a knock at the door and then you want a ready-made perfect spouse to pop up and out of a box and start cutting the grass or frying chicken. The benefits listed above are not intrinsic to marriage. These benefits are not handed to you upon your signature on the marriage license. You have to desire, deserve and earn these benefits here baby! These benefits are acquired over time through compromise, negotiation and sacrifice. My wife and I are both hard to please because we have extremely high expectations of each other. These expectations maintain the balance in our marriage which ensures the benefits of our marriage.
Because I wrote a book many of you think that I have been perfect my whole life. My wife built me first.
She was better prepared to be in a relationship than I was when we met. She was patient with me but firm. She didn’t take no crap from me. The relationship was weird at first. I wasn’t used to not being able to do exactly what I wanted to do at my partner’s expense. I’ll never forget the day that she told me, “You do not get to love me the way that you want to love me. You have to love me the way that I need to be loved. What you are doing, what you are giving, is not good enough.” It made me take her seriously. She knew what she wanted, she wasn’t afraid to ask for it. Every chance I get, I pay my wife the highest compliment that I can by saying to other women, “I married the woman that I respected the most.” Don’t high five her yet, she wasn’t perfect.
THAT MOUTH! She had been hurt. She had little faith in men. She had not been loved properly. Instead of me being emotionally distraught over her tongue lashings I would calmly say to her, “Sit down somewhere woman. I am a grown man. Relax & Breathe.” I adjusted her attitude with my love. I restored her faith in men through my consistency. I told her that I loved her and that she need not worry over and over and over again until I broke her fever. (She had to be sick to assume that she was going to get away with talking crazy to me!)
She was a diamond in the rough. She needed to be polished. I built that. I was a diamond in the rough. I needed to be sanded. She built me.
We were demanding but we were patient. We knew what we wanted out of a partner but we were prepared to give in order to receive the benefits of marriage. I am extremely proud of our marriage. We didn’t get to a successfully, happily married by chance or luck. It was hard, hard, hard work. We have invested a lot of time and energy into each other before we got this thing on cruise control.
The purpose of this article is to encourage those of you who are married and struggling or single and afraid of marriage that it is possible to work through your problems. We have to get back to marriage being a long term commitment. It takes time for two to become one. We give up too easily. On Day #1, there are only a select few that are ready to be a great spouse. Some of us take longer than others but the temporary struggle is worth the long term benefits. I say that, “I Built My Wife From Scratch,” because she would not be the wonderful and amazing wife that she is today without me challenging her to grow. It was frustrating but she is better than I could have ever imagined. My momma made me a good man but my momma could not make me into a good husband. That woman did that to me. I would not be half the man that I am today without her touch. (Ouch!)